Choreography: Dominique Bagouet
Water, earth, several brightly-colored mosaic tiles appear, slightly faded, out of this red clay in which the Alhambra was formed. Dominique Bagouet has succumbed to the charms of the gardens of Granada. Accidental archaeologist, infidel amongst the infidels, Christian in the realm of Islam, insolent contemporary taking refuge in the delicate Arabo-Andalusian art of living, and creating out of it a fantasy for our spirits, with his nine dancers and five musicians : five centuries after the fall of Granada, he in turn invades its gardens. Although his invasion is certainlly more peaceful than that of the Catholic kings, ravaging the last vestiges of a civilization in decline, in the name of the Eternal.
On a summer day, in another peaceful garden, that of the Chartreuse at Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, Bagouet listened while its director, Daniel Girard, told a sad, beautiful story inspired by Louis Aragon's poem “The Night before Granada was taken”. And he learned that, in the same year as Columbus arrived in America, the Emir Boabdil surrendered his city rather than see it destroyed.
Between the Christian monastery and the Palace of the Moorish King, between the murmuring of the fountains and the moaning of the Emir chased from his Garden of Eden, strange messages are exchanged and interwoven, the choreographer playing the role of go-between. With one of those about-faces of which only he knows the secret, leaving behind the rigorous geometry of his “Déserts d'amour” or “Le Crawl de Lucien”, the shadows of “Assaï”, the fantasies of “Les petites pièces de Berlin”, the brilliant virtuosity of “So Schnell”, while perhaps retaining something of the pleasant incongruities of “Le Saut de l'ange” or of “Jours étranges”. He is determined therefore to play the “soft tourist”, he who, full of art and history, can think and dream. And who can't escape from his status as a foreigner, projecting his fantasies into the velvety space of the fountains of Granada.
Against a variegated background of diverse kinds of music. Arabo-Andalusian of course, but also Flamenco, the shrill cries of the bullfight and the virulent sound of a contemporary Spanish rock band, his dance opens before us like a sketch-book.
Twenty-one sequences filled with harem women and emirs, hammams and minarets, gliding imperceptibly over a running stream linking past and present. Between myth and reality, all of his co-artists have reconstructed a small piece of history. Danka Semenowicz and her powerful stage setting. Dominique Fabrègue and her casual costumes. Manuel Bernard with his avalanches of light. Laurent Gachet and his humming background soundtrack. So that, gently brashily, haunted by silhouettes sprung from our imagination, a joyful Andalusia is reborn before our eyes, a primordial Andalusia, cardinal point of our pleasure and our loves.
Sources: Chantal Aubry - juillet 1991
Choreography: Dominique Bagouet
Dancers and musicians: Rita Cioffi, Priscilla Danton, Matthieu Doze, Olivia Grandville, Dominique Jégou, Catherine Legrand, Sylvain Prunenec, Fabrice Ramalingom, Juan Manuel Vicente and the groupe Gas Gas Gas.
Music: arabo andalouse, polyphonies and airs populaires espagnols, Sven Lava Pohlhammer, Luis Segura, Angel Vasquez, Violetta Parra, Laurent Gachet
Assistant: Anne Abeille
Scenery: Danka Semenowicz
Stage lighting: Manuel Bernard
Costumes: Dominique Fabrègue
Direction: Charles Picq
Production: Agat Films et cie, Les Carnets Bagouet, Centre Georges Pompidou, La Coursive.
Contribution: CNC, Adami, Conseil régional Languedoc Roussillon, Maison de la Danse, La Sept/Arte.
Date of creation : July 26th 1991, cloître du cimetière de la Chartreuse de Villeneuve-lez-Avignon
Recorded in May 1993, La Coursive, scène nationale de La Rochelle
Last update: December 2012